Medium: Wood, scissors, servos, stepper motors, Arduino motor controllers, chromed steel, 300 psi air tank.
Dimensions: 48" x 24" x 6"
"Before class in October 2018, a student showed me a video of Banksy, the British contemporary artist, using a remote control to activate a motor embedded in a picture frame. The contraption shredded one of his paintings just seconds after it was sold at Sotheby’s auction house for $1.4 million.
The following day, Banksy released a video showing how the trick was designed to have played out. He claimed that his intention was to completely destroy the painting, but that the shredder mechanism failed.
I was intrigued. I was also convinced that I -if ever asked- might be able to help finish the job.
Over the next eight months I sketched ideas, deciding against a shredder in favor of 9 pairs of mechanically-controlled scissors.
This contraption is capable of slicing up any 8""x11"" artwork into 96 rectangular pieces.
These pieces then fall into a chrome tray where a valve can be opened and a 300-pounds-per-inch blast of air shoots the 96 pieces into the sky.
In November 2021, the half shredded painting sold at auction for $25.4 million."
© Mark Randall Pitzer